Tag Archives: gabapentin

Could new addiction medications replace mutual-help groups?

 “…the most vocal critics on either side of the debate are stuck in the bad old days, when medical treatments were untested and mutual-help groups demanded immunity from evidence. The prescription is now collaboration, not confrontation.”

My own experience has been that most of the people in the 12-Step Groups who oppose therapeutic drugs usually know little or nothing about the subject, depending on the opinions of others and (perhaps) uncontrolled personal experience to form their opinions.  This, of course, is no different from the way the majority of people form opinions in general, and is simply human nature.

The harm occurs when they pass this “wisdom” on to others, particularly newcomers.  For example, antidepressants have absolutely nothing to do with the addictive process chemically, but may well be the salvation of alcoholics and other addicts who used drugs to self-medicate their own depressive episodes.  Anyone with an ounce of real knowledge, for example, would never advise someone to stop taking antidepressants without medical supervision (due to the risk of rebound into severe depression), yet I have heard this espoused in meetings.  Antidepressants are amazingly useful drugs when used knowledgeably, but like all powerful drugs have their undesirable side effects.

This is just one example of unskillful advice.  I could mention others.

In short, tradition and ignorance have much in common.  That said, I agree with the statement above.  The prescription is, indeed, “collaboration without confrontation.”

Good article.  Worth a read: http://goo.gl/lsGGcQ

Study Shows That Gabapentin (Neurontin) Is A Safe, Effective Treatment For Alcohol Abuse

Nov. 4, 2013 — The generic drug gabapentin, which is already widely prescribed for epilepsy and some kinds of pain, appears to be safe and effective in the treatment of alcohol dependence. The finding comes from a 150-patient randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind clinical trial conducted by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI).

“Gabapentin’s effect on drinking outcomes is at least as large or greater than those of existing FDA-approved treatments,” said Barbara J. Mason, Pearson Family Professor and co-director of the Pearson Center for Alcoholism and Addiction Research at TSRI, who led the new research. “Plus it’s the only medication shown to improve sleep and mood in people who are quitting or reducing their drinking, and it’s already widely used in primary care — that’s an appealing combination.”

The new research was published by the journal JAMA Internal Medicine on November 4, 2013.

Read more here…


Seizure Drug Reverses Cellular Effects In Brain Related To Alcohol Addiction

In the new research the scientists found that gabapentin normalizes the action of certain brain cells altered by chronic alcohol abuse in an area of the brain known as the central amygdala, which plays an important role in fear- and stress-related behaviors, as well as in regulating alcohol drinking. In the study, alcohol-dependent rodents receiving gabapentin drank less alcohol. Seizure Drug Reverses Cellular Effects In Brain Related To Alcohol Addiction